Facilities management is an ever-evolving field. What was once considered a mostly manual profession is now becoming increasingly digitized with greater focus being put on analytics and data in order to guide decision-making. As a result, facilities management has become more integrated, streamlined, and individually tailored to each project.
Whether you’re a new facility manager or a seasoned professional, facilities management is a field that requires continuous education. In order to stay competitive, it is advised that you stay on top of the latest best practices and technology. So, to help you out we’ve rounded up various members of the ServiceChannel team who had insights to share about best practices they’ve seen across a number of high performing facilities management programs. Let’s dive in.
FM Best Practices to Put Into Place Now
While each one may not be applicable, there’s likely to be a number of actions that are worth pursuing by your organization. Here are 10 facilities management best practices to start incorporating today.
Predictive Analytics & IoT
With predictive analytics, FMs will have the ability to know when something is going to break before it even happens. With IoT, it may not even require human interaction for something to be done about an issue beyond a provider arriving to resolve it.
– Brett Harrington, Sales Engineer
Predictive analytics can help facilities save an abundance of time and money they’d otherwise be spending on unexpected breakdowns and repairs. It also aids in creating a better customer experience -the last thing you want is for customers to see something in your store unexpectedly malfunctioning and negatively affecting their brand perception.
Ensure there is a standard process, train all relevant parties on that process, then operate day-to-day with the expectation that the process will be followed. Doing so allows people to focus on what needs to be done, as opposed to carrying the mental load of figuring out how to do it. Implementing this structure will enable you to systematically identify trends, address outliers and confirm best practices.
– Erica Young, Implementation Project Manager
No plan can be executed without effective collaboration and communication between all parties. Facilities managers have a responsibility to set expectations among team members and align goals. Whether its setting up monthly meetings with your providers to touch-based on outstanding work orders, utilizing facilities software to exchange information in real-time, or using a mobile app, communication is the only way to create strong relationships among your facilities team.
Devil is in the details – Many FMs like to stay really high level and make sweeping comments about their own program without actually knowing. Know your business and how it actually functions. Use reports and data to make true decisions and formulate opinions. Put pressure on contractors to perform at a higher standard. Hold them more accountable to technology.
– Mike Rivisto, VP Customer Success
This is probably not the first time you’ve been told to utilize data when making facilities decisions, and it certainly won’t be the last. Long gone are the days of making sweeping generalizations – it’s time to embrace data. Whether its asset data that helps you foresee and prevent breakdowns or financial data that guides you to budget more appropriately, your decisions will be better for it.
C-Suite Focused Analytics
The use of analytics tools to continually validate (to the C-suite) the performance/value of the FM department to the overall brand. Not a performance booster but an image booster for the department.
– Dave Perry, Director, Sales
As facilities become increasingly integrated, you’ll want other departments on your side. Especially when it comes time to invest in new technology and need outside approval from the Chief Financial Officer, you’ll be glad you have the right analytics on hand to back up your proposal.
Invest in technology to make things (1) easier, (2) more intelligent, (3) more automated and (4) more transparent. Otherwise you are a dinosaur.
– Tom Buiocchi, CEO
The facilities industry is continuously getting smarter and new technology is being introduced at a rapid pace. As a facility manager, you should stay on top of the latest product releases and consider how it could help your own team solve current problems. Facilities management software, in particular, is helping teams become more streamlined and efficient while reducing costs and improving decision-making.
Taking the time to understand their data through analytics. Knowing where and how they spend their money can help identify where they can save money.
– Emily Kansa, Customer Success Manager
The power of analytics happens when you apply and analyze the data you have at your fingertips. With a number of facilities management platforms offering analytics capabilities, users can start drawing better insights to improve performance. Here are four different types of analytics facility managers can start using:
- Descriptive Analytics – What happened?
- Diagnostic Analytics – Why did it happen?
- Predictive Analytics – When will it happen?
- Prescriptive Analytics – How can we make it happen?
Getting mobile in the hands of all the end users and technicians.
– Doug Ingraham, VP Product Management
Society is becoming increasingly mobile and we’re seeing it more and more in the workplace. Why? It allows us to be more efficient, multi-task, and communicate easier on the go. And in facilities, where team members are often spread out in different physical locations and there isn’t always time to pull out a laptop to input a work order, mobile is the way to go.
Negotiate Provider Rates
Send out RFPs and negotiate all repair and PM rates. There is lots of competition for their business so they should not tolerate vendors who overcharge and underperform.
– Susan Thomas, Premium Support Consultant
If you haven’t recently revamped your Request for Proposal (RFP) process, now is a good time to do it. In order to find the right contractors for the job, FMs are frequently tasked with issuing RFPs for the work they need performed and it can be time-intensive if you don’t establish practices, i.e. internally defining your needs early on, having a template in place, or know how to negotiate appropriately. Many organizations will even streamline the whole process by using a digital RFP platform.
To make informed decisions about their assets, FMs first need to know what assets are in use at each location (whether they are tagging assets or not). Once known, then they can begin to track repair and maintenance costs, perform preventive maintenance and make repair versus replace decisions about each asset.
– Leum Fahey, Project Manager
Having an understanding of which assets are in use at each location goes back to the idea of visibility. Without visibility into the records of all your assets there’s no way to track important data like cost history or warranty. This can lead to the wrong repair or replace decision and costly consequences. To help with this, we recommend equipment tracking and management software like Asset Manager which accurately tags and tracks assets across locations within multi-site enterprises.
Vendor Check-in/out Enforcement
It’s important to track when contractors come and on-site and leave. When this is not done consistently and accurately, it slows down the invoice approval and payment process.
– Pasquale Magneri, Solutions Specialist
As a facility manager you should have awareness about when your contractors arrive and leave a location in order to validate that they were present for a work order and for how long, so that you can improve the accuracy of labor invoicing. Many facilities teams have found success in using a mobile app that has GPS check-in and check-out features where contractors can simply input a PIN and work order number to check in on site.
Useful Facilities Management Information
The facilities management industry is all about continuous learning. While best practices will change over time, it’s important to take note of what other successful facilities teams are doing now so that you can stay competitive and reach your goals. We’ve created a 2019 Facilities Management Survival Guide’s been designed to help you stay current on all that happening across the facilities management landscape. There’s a wealth of useful information like:
- Innovations & Trends Impacting the Facilities Management Sector
- Industry LinkedIn Groups to Join
- Industry Twitter Accounts to Follow
- 2019’s Top FM and Related Industry Events
- Facilities Management Best Practices
- FM-related Blogs, Podcasts and Books
Want to learn more? We invite you to check out the Facilities Management Survival Guide where you’ll find a number of informative resources to power your own facilities management program.